World’s water crisis: Supercharged iron could provide practical solution

water pouring from pitcher into clear glass

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A Texas A&M researcher is looking to naturally occurring iron as a possible, practical solution to the world’s water problem.

“Water scarcity and pollution threaten our ability to grow strong and stable economies, meet basic human needs, and protect healthy ecosystems, while also posing severe human health problems,” said Virender K. Sharma, professor and environmental chemist at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health.

According to Sharma, supercharged iron (or ferrate) may hold the solution to the world’s impending water crisis. Sharma is investigating the use of this environmentally friendly chemical compound as a water-treatment disinfectant to ensure public health protection through availability of water that is clean and suitable for communities.

“Naturally occurring iron can be easily converted to ferrate, which can be used in both air and water purification as a disinfectant to aid in the removal of toxins without leaving behind harmful byproducts,” he said.

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